WVU Offensive Woes Systemic, Systematic

West Virginia forward Sagaba Konate (front) battles for post position

WVU Offensive Woes Systemic, Systematic

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — With double-digit leads in its last two games, West Virginia’s offense should have been free-flowing. Instead, it’s been dammed up like an ice-choked river.

While head coach Bob Huggins thought the Mountaineers passed the ball acceptably in the loss to Texas Tech, he was of just the opposite opinion concerning the Kansas game. WVU’s attack was stunted in Monday night’s 71-66 loss, with the second half being an especially frustrating exhibition. After running an excellent pin down on the its opening possession, which resulted in a Sagaba Konate score, WVU’s offense went into hibernation. The Mountaineers made just nine baskets in the remaining 19:28, which turned a 15-point lead into the five point defeat.

West Virginia guard Jevon Carter launches a contested three

While several players identified “missed shots” as the culprit, that’s looking at the result, not the cause. West Virginia passed the ball as poorly as an AAU team, and gave it away frequently. Eleven second half turnovers, as opposed to ten baskets, allowed the Jayhawks to chip away and take control of the game. A paltry nine total assists, with just four coming after the break, show just how bad WVU’s court sense was.

“I feel like we take rushed shots,” senior guard Jevon Carter said afterward. “[We] haven’t been running offense as cleanly as we need to be.”

That’s the understatement of the year. Huggins launched a soliloquy in the post game in response to one question about the offense which detailed the problems magnificently. West Virginia’s players aren’t running the offense, don’t see open players, pass it to the wrong people or not at all. They make mistakes on patterned sets, and don’t make correct reads on reaction-based offenses like motion. That results in hurried late 3-point heaves or forced passes, all of which contribute to the breakdown. WVU was 1-13 from beyond the arc in the second half (7.7%), and had one unsightly stretch where it missed three trey attempts on one possession, and culminated that with four turnovers in a seven-possession span.

Even with all that evidence, though, even Carter said “We just weren’t hitting”, but did admit the Mountaineers should have realized that and changed offensive tacks. Called out by Huggins as “the easy way out” West Virginia’s launching from distance kept Kansas in the game.

Exacerbating the offensive issues is WVU’s propensity to wait for Carter to make a play at a critical juncture. That’s an unfair burden on the Mountaineers’ stellar senior, but it has also led him to take some shots that aren’t in his wheelhouse. Still, with the shot clock winding down and no one getting open, and the offense is a state of confusion, he often has little choice. He wouldn’t admit to feeling any pressure in those situations, but did allow that he “has to make plays”.

“I felt like I had enough space to get them off,” he said of two late 3-point attempts that WVU had to have to get back into the game. They felt good and looked good. They just didn’t go in.”

Whether West Virginia’s players want to admit it or not, the offensive issues go far beyond just missing shots. And until they can get all five players on the court running things correctly, or more players than Esa Ahmad and Sagaba Konate scoring in the halfcourt, they’ll be in danger of crashing further down the Big 12 standings.

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    WVU Offensive Woes Systemic, Systematic MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — With double-digit leads in its last two games, West Virginia’s offense should have been f
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    Agreed 100%. This team has looked out of sorts on offense multiple times this year. Superior talent got them through in much of the the non-conference slate. Hot shooting a couple of other times. Out working the other team worked a couple of times. Teddy Allen one on one moves helped. But they just don’t move the ball and themselves effectively much of the time. Even on defense they don’t play as well together as last year. JC and Sags are superior defensive talents. Miles is aggressive and knows where to be. The rest seem a step out of place. They come at the wrong angle. Trap in the wrong place or a step slow. It’s not an effort thing, but this is over all a young team that hasn’t quite figured it out yet.


    Ball movement, passing game and back door cuts of the Beilein era are gone. Some has to do with the players we recruit. Some has to do with the style of play. Much has to do with the very young team. With only 2 SR’s and 1 JR (not counting Hunter in this) that has not played for 1/2 of the year, this team is lacking in experience.

    Think of this. SO’s — Sags played minimal last year and is counted on for major mins at C. Bender played even less and was a SF all his life. Harris didn’t play at all last year in JC and is new to Huggs system. Harler and Bolden played sparingly last year. Routt is really a walk on that got few mins last year. West is the only one that played significant minutes …. that is if you call 11 min/gm significant.

    That’s the whole team. 2 SR’s that started every game for years. 1 JR that is very good but is just now inserted into the lineup after sitting out 16 games. 1 SO that had played 11 min/gm. 6 SO’s that saw little meaningful action last year as FR. And a true FR that is talented but in the dog house for unknown reasons.

    This team is VERY YOUNG and inexperienced.

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Home Page forums WVU Offensive Woes Systemic, Systematic

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